As a young bloke on the family wool-growing property with my first rifle, I remember being urged by my grandfather to shoot any 'eaglehawks' I saw. The 'eaglehawks' he was referring to is the third largest of all the eagles, the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia's largest raptor and often referred to as an Eaglehawk by farmers.
He believed they took lambs and mauled sheep which were lambing or injured and he was right but they took many more rabbits, foxes and hares than lambs. They are a magnificent bird with a wingspan of over 10 feet (about three metres) and have been known to fly on thermals without flapping their wings for up to eight hours and as high as 1800 feet.
Their amazing eyesight is said to be up to 200 times better than human. They eat carrion such as roadside kill, and some small animals such as wallabies, koalas, even lizards and brown snakes. I have even heard first-hand of a Wedge-tailed Eagle picking up a working sheep dog and flying away, only to drop it when the drover chased it across the paddock. It had failed to gain sufficient height due to the dog's weight.
They are fully protected by law in Australia and cannot be harmed or trapped without proper authority.
Isaiah tells us how, "those who wait (that is, bind together as by twisting a rope) upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall rise up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah Chapter 40, verse 31).
There are many places in the Bible (eg, Exodus, Jeremiah, and Proverbs) where God compares us to eagles - the most magnificent of all birds - and a baby eagle is born with all the potential to make it king of the sky.
There's just one problem ......... the eagle doesn't know it. The baby eagle needs to be taught to be an eagle.
Born into a warm and comfortable nest high in a tree or on a cliff, the baby eagle is fed and protected - it grows, develops and starts to change colour and by about eight weeks, the young bird is fully feathered. Then come the flying lessons from about age eight weeks.
Mother spreads her wings, hovers over the nest and flaps gently to maintain control. After some time, the young catch on. They too start to spread their wings, copying her. After some days of this she entices the youngster from the nest, even forces it if necessary, and eventually pushes it into the air.
Some fledglings make a go of it first off, although most seem to panic, flap their wings wildly and plunge toward the ground – death or disaster assured however, moments before it hits the ground - whoosh!! Mother swoops under, puts it on her back and returns it to the nest. Soon after, the same process all over again - before long the baby finds it can fly, it doesn't have to fall, it has everything necessary to fly and soar as an eagle should.
Power and Authority
We too are born into the kingdom of God with all the power and authority given to us in Jesus' name. We are complete in Him; we have everything necessary for a life of Godliness and victory, however, it's up to us whether we learn to fly and soar aloft from our nests or just flutter along .We can believe and receive or we can doubt and go without.
John Skinner served as an infantry soldier in Vietnam then the Tasmanian Police before taking up the position of CEO of the Australian Rough Riders Association (professional rodeo based in Warwick Qld). Before retirement to his small farm, he was a photo-journalist for 25 years. He is married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren.